Grace Reid, James Heatly, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix and Noah Williams were rewarded with bronze as they joined forces in the opening event of the European Championship diving programme.
The Mixed Team event provided an entertaining start to proceeding in the diving pool, with six nations entering quartets into the competition format which requires a combination of six individual and mixed synchro dives to be performed from the both 3m springboard and 10m platform.
Recently crowned Commonwealth Champions, Reid (Dive London) and Heatly (Edinburgh Diving Club), set the stall out for the Great Britain team with their individual 3m Springboard dives performed consecutively to place them third at the end of the first round. Heatly’s 3.8 degree of difficulty on his Forward 4 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (109C) notably the highest attempted among the field.
The pairs following mixed 3m synchro effort slightly lacked the sharpness required to fully impress the judges, but kept the medal places in sight with less than eight points separating them from the leaders as they handed over responsibility to Spendolini-Sirieix (Dive London) and Williams (Dive London) on the platform.
A solid Reverse 2 1/2 Somersaults Tuck (305C) off the 10m board from Andrea was quickly trailed by a 77.40 point worthy Handstand Back 2 Somersaults 2½ Twists (6245D) from fellow Dive London diver, Noah - establishing the team in the bronze medal position with one dive to go.
Williams and Spendolini-Sirieix had already achieved medal success at world and Commonwealth level in 2022, and duly rounded out the contest with enough from their synchro effort to maintain the teams position on the leaderboard and add a European bronze to their names on the first day of competition in Rome.
Following the medal presentation, Jen Leeming-coached diver, Heatly said:
“Being the last event of the season we’re just here to have a really good time, it’s sort of that final push for the end of the season. It was a lot of fun - diving outdoors has a lot of its own challenges to manage but I think we did alright!”
Whilst Reid added her thoughts on the momentum the whole British Diving team was carrying into the event, commenting:
“I think a lot of the other European countries have been prepping for this being outdoors, but we’re coming off the back of such a successful summer so I don’t think this team have any intention of slowing down as we put in one last push for the end of the year.”
Getting a good performance in to start the week well was noted by Williams whose preparations now turn solely to the Men’s Individual in six days’ time, with Spendolini-Sirieix pleased to have settled a few nerves having logged her first experience of the competition atmosphere in the Foro Italico sporting facility.
“Yeah it definitely did [settle the nerves]” said Spendolini-Sirieix,
“I’m really happy to have started the competition with the team event with amazing people – I’m really proud of how we did to produce solid diving which is promising and I’m really excited to see what we can do this week”